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Consequences by Penelope Lively
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Consequences (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Penelope Lively

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5012720,341 (3.62)73
Member:missjomarch
Title:Consequences
Authors:Penelope Lively (Author)
Info:Viking Adult (2007), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:****
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Consequences by Penelope Lively (2007)

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» See also 73 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This novel covers the second half of twentieth century British life and is told through the eyes of three generations of women who were each single mothers. Each of these women made choices and created a life for themselves in the same but different ways. While the author writes beautifully this novel is disjointed and seems unconnected. It doesn't have emotional resonance or depth and as a reader I was never sure what point the author was trying to make. I could never find any hook for this novel and as a result it made pleasant listening but never made me care about any of the three women. It also suffered from an identity crises. What is it? As a romance novel it falls flat on its face, as historical fiction it lacks deep ties to events. It excels as a character study but those make for boring reading unless there is some kind of emotional attachment to those characters and that lack of attachment is the major flaw of this book. I think it is a book that tries too hard to be insightful and fails. The title is another problem. It is an odd choice, as I could never see the connection between it and the lives of the women. The bottom line is that it is well written but plotless and pointless. Had I not been trapped in the car for hours during a long road trip I would not have stayed with this book to the end. ( )
  benitastrnad | Jan 5, 2015 |
Lively is a remarkable writer. While following three generations of women, she manages to explore how the historical becomes the personal, how societal changes in the twentieth century affected the daily lives and possible choices of women, and the beauty and power of love. ( )
  eapalmer | Apr 18, 2014 |
Consequences by Penelope Lively

This is a wonderful story from a new (to me) but excellent author. She gives us the lives of three generations of women beginning in pre-WW II England. The story begins with a young woman, Lorna, who wants to live a meaningful life and is crossed at every turn by her high minded & moneyed parents. She accidentally meets a man, Matt, in the park and they begin to see each other. They eventually fall in love and marry against the wishes of her parents who turn their back on her.
She and her husband who is a wood engraver find an inexpensive cottage in the country and live a simple life. The story of Matt's engraving work could be a story entirely unto itself. I loved all of that.
He & Lorna have a little girl, Molly, and life is wonderful for them even though they are poor as church mice. Then comes the war. Matt feels that he must enlist and begs Lorna to go to his parents but she refuses and is set on waiting at the cottage for him to return.
Molly, as she grows up, becomes the center of the story and her daughter Ruth, after her.
Each woman's story is somewhat briefly but beautifully told. And as I am sure you have guessed the main theme of the book is that one lives out the consequences of one's own life choices.
I found this to be a lovely book. I want to read more of Lively's works and I recommend this one not for it's depth but rather for it's ease, comfort and readability. ( )
4 vote rainpebble | Feb 24, 2014 |
Lorna and Matt meet on a park bench in London in 1936. Despite class differences, they fall in love and marry as the threat of WWII looms. Impoverished, they establish a home in a primitive cottage in the west country on the coast looking over Bristol Bay to Wales. Matt is a talented engraver. His relationship with Lucas who owns a printing press is what allows this occupation to provide a meager living for Matt, Lorna, and baby Molly.
The story progresses to follow Molly and her daughter, Ruth, into the 21st century. The author explores changing societal norms and more's relative to love and relationship through that time period. As always, her adept use of language sweeps the story along through time and space. ( )
1 vote tangledthread | Feb 2, 2014 |
I liked the way this book dealt with the "consequences" of the decisions made by characters in this story. I enjoy reading about how we all deal with issues and circumstances differently and they result in various outcomes. I believe it lends to a greater perspective in our own lives. ( )
  missjomarch | Nov 7, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Penelope Livelyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They met on a bench in St. James's Park; it was the sixth of June 1935.
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You do not want to admit that you have never been in love, at forty-three. That the most compelling experience going has somehow passed you by, that you are a kind of emotional virgin, that when you read great literature, one of its central themes is mysterious to you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670038563, Hardcover)

The Booker Prize-winning author’s first novel since The Photograph is a sweeping saga of three generations of women, their lives, and loves

A chance meeting in St. James’s Park begins young Lorna and Matt’s intense relationship. Wholly in love, they leave London for a cottage in a rural Somerset village. Their intimate life together—Matt’s woodcarving, Lorna’s self-discovery, their new baby, Molly—is shattered with the arrival of World War II. In 1960s London, Molly happens upon a forgotten newspaper—a seemingly small moment that leads to her first job and, eventually, a pregnancy by a wealthy man who wants to marry her but whom she does not love. Thirty years later, Ruth, who has always considered her existence a peculiar accident, questions her own marriage and begins a journey that takes her back to 1941—and a redefinition of herself and of love.

Told in Lively’s incomparable prose, Consequences is a powerful story of growth, death, and rebirth and a study of the previous century—its major and minor events, its shaping of public consciousness, and its changing of lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A love story that connects the lives of three generations, Lorna and Matt who experience heartache during World War II, their daughter Molly, and their granddaughter Ruth, who begins a journey that takes her back to 1941.

(summary from another edition)

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